How do you feel about sharing your creative work? I know for a lot of us, it can feel… sticky. In today’s podcast I’m talking about why it’s so difficult, the benefits that come when we do share our work and a few tips to help you feel more confident when sharing your work.
Listen wherever you get your podcasts or here:
Links and further reading
- Episode 51 – creativity as a tool for confidence
- Episode 48 – how to overcome the fear of rejection
- How to build a self-belief evidence bank
- Chat to me about the episode on Instagram
In today’s episode I want to dig into why it feels so hard to share our creative work, the incredible benefits that come when we do and how to start feeling more confident about it. So if you’ve ever felt fear around sharing a piece of writing, your artwork or a new offering, this one’s for you.
Hello, how are you doing? I am OK – obviously if you’re listening to this when it goes out you’ll know the news about war in Ukraine has been pretty harrowing and I think all of us are feeling the weight of it all, so just sending all my love to those affected. I had a few days off for my birthday and it was lovely, got to see friends, family and ate lots of tasty food which is my favourite way to celebrate.
I’m back at work now though and I’m excited to be back in the podcast recording habit, I really love it. And one of the first topics I wanted to dive into this season is sharing your creative work as I know this is an area that can be super tough to navigate.
In the last episode about creativity as a tool for confidence, I spoke about creativity being a way we can put ourselves into the confidence building process. This is because creativity is incredibly personal, it is an expression of us. And while there are positives to that, I do think this is what makes sharing our work so difficult.
When someone rejects or ignores your creative work, it’s so hard not to take it personally. Before we go into this and what can help, I want you to think for a minute about when you first started sharing your creative side as a kid.
Maybe a teacher read out one of your stories to the class, maybe you remember showing drawings to your parents, or playing a song you made up to friends. Do you remember feeling fear then? And do you remember what the response was? If anyone ever rejected your work then or even made fun of you, that can scar and may even be impacting you now. Or perhaps you were called special and had pressure put on you to achieve high standards and now you struggle to meet your own expectations. Or maybe you had wonderful experiences that bolstered your confidence and helped you get where you are today.
The point I’m trying to make here is that these stories we hold about our creative work are often deeply rooted.
So it’s no surprise so many of us find it hard, the fear of rejection especially can be intense. And if you want to dive into that topic more, listen back to episode 48 of Seedling which is all about overcoming the fear of rejection.
The fear we have around this can really hold us back, stopping us from growing, developing and even learning. Because this is the beauty of sharing our work. We get to learn from it, we see what impact it has. We get the chance to experiment, seeing what we like, what others like and all the little nuances in-between.
Instead of keeping it to ourselves we join a wider dialogue. We start having conversations with the world and that is a truly beautiful thing. We give ourselves the chance to inspire others, causing a ripple effect.
The question then is, how do we get there? How can we build the confidence to start sharing our work and join the dialogue?
The first thing I’d suggest is to remind yourself of the conversation you want to have with the world. What is it you want to say? What do you want other people to know? What impact could this conversation have? And remember, this doesn’t have to be world-changing – your work could impact just one person and that is already reason enough to share it.
Next I would consider taking a small step and start sharing your work with those you trust and like-minded people. Perhaps you’re in a community where you feel safe to share. Maybe you have a close friends list on stories to start sharing. The key here is to show yourself nothing terrible will happen when you share it. When you get that evidence, you’ll feel better about sharing more widely.
At this point I would also encourage you to share with zero expectations. It’s easy to build these things up in our head and worry what reaction we’ll get, but if you share with no expectations and just share for sharing’s sake, you’ll find the process a whole lot easier. And I know, this one is easier said than done, so something I often do if I’m nervous about sharing something is to share and then run away! I switch off my phone or laptop and go do something else, go read, go for a walk and remind myself that there’s more to life than the reaction to my work.
When you do start getting reactions, I recommend capturing the positive ones so you can create your own self-belief evidence bank. If you haven’t heard me talk about this before, it’s essentially a place for you to collate positive feedback to offer you a boost of confidence when you need it. We shouldn’t rely on external validation at all, BUT, in the early stages it can give you the nudge you need to keep going.
And finally, consider sharing the process, not just the finished product. This is a brilliant way of letting go of any perfectionism you have around your work and it can inspire others to see the progress. On a personal note as well, I love being nosy and seeing the process of things, I find it super interesting.
So there we go, those are some ideas to try but I would love to hear your thoughts on this – do head over to my instagram account, @katbluejay and let me know what helps you share your creative work and I will talk to you there.
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